I've been reading a phenomenal book by Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged. It was first published in 1957 by PLUME. It has gotten renewed attention of late because of the message it carries. The book is a work of fiction, has been a bestseller for over 40 years and according to the book's back cover is an "epochal novel" and "intellectual landmark."
The paperback copy of the book I have is mammoth in size coming out at 1,168 pages. I am about 600 pages into the book. Rand has taken a fictional story built around what she calls, "progressive social policy" and relates how men who govern in her fictional United States tell themselves they do so for the good of everyone all the while destroying the free enterprise system.
There are laws passed with names such as "The Equalization of Opportunity Bill", "The Preservation of Livelihood Law", "The Fair Share Law", and "Public Stability Law". There are federal organizations controlling science and engineering. One organization is called the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources and another called the State Science Institute.
The book is filled with drama, demise, destruction, romance, backstabbing, manipulation, all of which builds a good story. Add to those factors that the reader could almost believe the fictional events are taking place in today's society with government controlling auto manufacturing and wanting to control the country's health care system.
There are moments of lightheartedness. Rand continues to ask the question, "Who is John Galt?" which in her fictional world, is a meaningless question that people ask to indicate there is not a plausible answer to the condition the world is at any given point in the book.
The vivid and well defined characters of the book make the plot move quickly while at the same time making the long read seem shorter.
Rand certainly had a way with words. She also had an uncanny sense of the human factor and psyche. So far it has been a great read. I'll keep you posted as I continue my way through the rest of the story.